Mortuary worker charged with stealing from Nairobi mall attack victims

Members of the Somalia based al-Shabab militant group killed 67 people, including two Canadians, after an attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall on Sept. 21. Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER – Kenyan authorities have charged a 54-year-old mortuary attendant with stealing valuables from the bodies of victims from last month’s Westgate Mall attack.

According to Kenyan news outlet The Nation, police accused Rose Oyungu of stealing jewelry and mobile phones from Mbugu Mwangi — the nephew of Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta — and his fiancee Rose Wahito.

The thefts amount to 340,000 Kenyan shillings, or CAD$4,180.00.

Prosecutor Wycliffe Sifuna alleged Oyungu, who was arrested earlier this month, took Mwangi and Wahito’s possessions while she was supposed to be preserving the bodies at Nairobi’s City Mortuary.

Oyungu, a widowed mother of six, has denied the claims.

The court released the woman on bail until a hearing on Nov. 25.

Story continues below advertisement

Kenyan officials are also facing criticism over thefts that took place at the Westgate Mall after the military entered. During the attack, al-Shabab militants killed 67 people, including two Canadians.

Video emerged this week showing members of the Kenyan Defence Forces apparently looting the supermarket at the upscale shopping centre and carrying out shopping bags.

Kenyan officials have said the allegations are bogus and that the troops were “carrying water in shopping bags and not looted goods,” according to The Nation.

Local media coverage of the video has now put journalists at risk of arrest.

Kenya’s police chief David Kimaiyo warned media not to “provoke propaganda.”